Posted by & filed under Print Report.

ARTICLE SUMMARY: Oregon car salesman Kevin Lamson was fired by Crater Lake Motors. Company owner Jim Coleman claims Lamson was released for reasons related to performance. Lamson counters that his firing was because he refused to participate in a sales program he considered to be unethical. Lamson sued, claiming wrongful discharge, and won in trial court. The Oregon Supreme Court reversed the decision stating “there was no evidence Lamson had been ordered to violate any ethical standard or law.”

QUESTIONS:

  1. The Oregon Supreme Court ruled that no ethical standard or law had been violated. Does this mean the practices questioned by Kevin Lamson are ethical? What alternative view(s) of ethics may have influenced Lamson?
  2. Is Kevin Lamson a whistleblower? What are the arguments for and against calling him a whistleblower?
  3. Looking at the stages of moral development, where would you place Kevin Lamson, Crater Lake Motors, and the Oregon Supreme Court (based on the ruling in this case)?

SOURCE: W. McCall, “Oregon Court Rejects Car Salesman in Ethics Appeal,” The Washington Post (Retrievable online at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/20/AR2009082002228.html)

Posted by & filed under Print Report.

ARTICLE SUMMARY: This week the world mourns the passing of another television giant. Unlike Walter Cronkite, Don Hewitt worked behind the scenes at CBS. Those that knew him, claim that many standard practices in television news reporting were innovations introduced by Hewitt.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What are some of the ways the environment at CBS might have allowed Don Hewitt’s creativity to flourish?
  2. How would you classify the business innovations of Don Hewitt?
  3. What type of change best describes the achievements of Don Hewitt? Referring to Figure 10.2, what are some of the characteristics that allowed Hewitt to be so successful?

SOURCE: B. Keveney, “Don Hewitt’s Career Highlights Were TV’s As Well” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2009-08-19-hewitt-highlights_N.htm; for additional reference, see http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2009-08-19-hewitt-obit_N.htm)

Posted by & filed under Ethics, Global Management.

ARTICLE SUMMARY: Four executives of Australian mining company Rio Tinto were arrested by the Chinese government and charged with bribery and corporate espionage. Chinese government officials claim the actions of the arrested gave Rio Tinto an unfair advantage in negotiating prices for the sale of iron ore. The case is causing many firms to rethink how they conduct business in China.

QUESTIONS:

  1. In what ways might Rio Tinto representatives be guilty of corruption?
  2. Considering Rio Tinto, what does this say about the political risks that come with doing business in a foreign country? What is the best way to minimize these risks?
  3. Thinking back, how does the Rio Tinto case underscore the cultural issues in ethical behavior?

SOURCE: J. T. Areddy, S. Canaves, & S. Oster, “Rio Tinto Arrests Throw Firms Off Balance,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125007379426225373.html?mod=crnews; for additional reference, see http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2009/08/14/in-rio-tinto-bribery-case-china-says-the-enemy-is-us/)

Posted by & filed under Decision Making.

ARTICLE SUMMARY: In June, Congress approved the “Cash for Clunkers” program. The program was so popular that funding ran out within one week and Congress had to approve an extension. Opponents contend, as with the stimulus package, that the Government acted too hastily putting the program in place. The White House countered by arguing the bill was needed to help restructure the automotive industry and to encourage consumers to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What type of managerial decision does the “Cash for Clunkers” program represent? What factors did you use to make this determination?
  2. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the program.
  3. Evaluate the effectiveness of this program. Do you believe Government leaders considered the impact the program would have on the used car market and charities? Why or why not?

SOURCE: D. Gearino, “Used Car Lots, Charities Hurt By ‘Clunkers’,” The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch (Retrievable online at http://www.dispatch.com for additional reference, see http://usatoday.com)

Posted by & filed under Diversity.

SUMMARY: On August 7, the United States Senate confirmed the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. She becomes the third woman and first Hispanic to serve in that capacity. Her nomination and swearing in offer an excellent opportunity to discuss diversity and multicultural organizations.

QUESTIONS:

  1. When President Obama hailed Sotomayor’s confirmation by saying it was “breaking yet another barrier,” what did he mean?
  2. In what ways does Justice Sotomayor’s membership in the Supreme Court express the characteristics of a multicultural organization?
  3. Opponents of Sotomayor’s nomination expressed concern about her comment that a “a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” In what ways might this comment reflect ethnocentrism? Why might this be a concern?

SOURCE: J. Bravin, “Senate Confirms Sotomayor in Largely Partisan 68-31 Vote,” Wall Street Journal (Retrievable online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124955682673110741.html#mod=loomia?loomia_si=t0:a16:g2:r4:c0.0168791:b27026392; for additional reference, see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124973431689116795.html)

Posted by & filed under Compensation & Benefits.

SUMMARY: Urban Meyer, head football coach at the University of Florida, recently received a contract extension that will pay him $4 million per year. The coach of the current NCAA national champions will become the first coach at a Southeastern Conference school to earn that amount. The new contract extension highlights just how competitive the market for top-notch coaches is in college sports.

QUESTIONS:

  1. The average salary for major college coaches now tops $1 million per year. Salaries for professional athletes and collegiate coaches in major sports are skyrocketing. In what ways might these high salaries address the major responsibilities of human resource management?
  2. In terms of merit pay, what factors might justify Coach Meyer’s high salary and contract extension?
  3. What are the potential consequences if schools such as the University of Florida do not offer competitive salaries to their coaches?

SOURCE: D. Jones, “Florida, Meyer Agree on Extension Worth $4M a Year,” USA Today (Retrievable online at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/sec/2009-08-03-florida-meyer-extension_N.htm)

Posted by & filed under Strategy.

SUMMARY: Christian Lacroix, famed Parisian designer of haute couture, has seen change. Eleven chief executive officers could not manage Lacroix’s creativity to a profit. After 22 years in the fashion industry, Lacroix’s future is in doubt. His company, part of the Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A. conglomerate, filed for bankruptcy protection in May. Whether a buyer will emerge or not, one thing is certain – the “business as usual” mentality must go.

QUESTIONS:

  1. How well did LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A.) handle the strategic management of Christian Lacroix?
  2. Identify the grand or master strategy employed by Christian Lacroix. How might this be a problem in the fashion industry?
  3. Assume the company will emerge from bankruptcy. What strategic changes would you make if you were running this company? Why?

SOURCE: M. Colchester, “The Fall of Christian Lacroix,” Wall Street Journal (Retrieval online at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204619004574318400611353392.html)

Posted by & filed under Video Report.

eBay CEO says that the payment site’s revenue will eclipse that of the online auction site soon.

Source: CNNMoney.com

Date: 7/24/2009

Keys: Strategy, planning, growth, organization structure, innovation, global dimensions

Linkhttp://money.cnn.com

Questions for discussion:

  • Explain why PayPal is expected to grow larger than eBay?
  • Given this change, what are the implications for management over the next five years in terms of organization structure, HR, etc.?
  • What other strategic growth opportunities do you envision emerging from these operations or changes in the business environments? How would suggest management plan for them? Explain your thinking.

Posted by & filed under Print Report.

Female managers just might have an edge in a rotten economy, says the author of a new book. Here’s why, and how men and women can learn from each other’s strengths.

Source:  CNNMoney.com

Date: 7/23/2009

Keys: HR, motivation, teams

Link: http://money.cnn.com

Questions for discussion:

  • Summarize the differences between men and women managers that are presented in this article. Which do you agree with? Disagree with?
  • Do you believe there is any advantage or disadvantage to a firm with more managers of one gender than another? Explain your thinking.
  • What are the implications for team building in a firm?
  • Do you think any gender differences between men and women managers would be of greater importance for a profit-oriented organization – in comparison to say, not-for-profit or governmental organizations? Explain your thinking.

Posted by & filed under Print Report.

International Business Machines Corp plans to buy technology services company SPSS Inc for about $1.2 billion in cash, the companies said on Tuesday.

Source:  Reuters.com

Date: 7/28/2009

Keys: Strategy, planning, mergers & acquisitions, organization structure

Link: http://www.reuters.com

Questions for discussion:

  • Organizations can grow through mergers with and the acquisitions of other organizations. This strategy works best when there is synergy between the two. Explain why IBM would choose to grow by acquiring the operations of SPSS.
  • Given this acquisition, what are the implications for management of both firms over the next five years in terms of organization structure, HR, etc.?
  • What other strategic growth opportunities do you think would work well for IBM?
  • Identify one opportunity which would not work well. Explain your thinking.